Total Nutrition Technology
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Test your Iron IQ with this quick quiz (answers below):

  1. What is the main purpose of iron?
      1. To remove oxygen 
      2. To carry oxygen
      3. To remove damaged cells
      4. To carry glucose
  2. What are signs you aren't getting enough iron?
      1. Fatigue
      2. Weakness
      3. Difficulty maintaining body temperature
      4. All of the above
  3. How many types of iron are there?
      1. One
      2. Two
      3. Three
      4. Four
  4. How much iron do you need each day?
      1. 8-18mg
      2. 8-18g
      3. 800-1800mg
      4. None of  the above
  5. What vitamin aids in the absorption of iron?
      1. Vitamin A
      2. Vitamin B
      3. Vitamin C
      4. Vitamin D
  6. Which of these are natural food sources of iron?
      1. Poultry, Red Meat, and Fish
      2. Whole Grains
      3. Beans, Seeds, and Lentils
      4. All of the above


  1. The main purpose of iron is to B. carry oxygen (iron binds to oxygen and together they "hitch" a ride on the hemoglobin of your red blood cells) to your cells so that they can produce energy. Iron also happens to carry the carbon dioxide away from your cells so that your lungs can properly dispose of it. By not consuming enough iron each day, the body will have a hard time getting enough oxygen to function at its highest ability. This can drastically reduce a person's metabolism by slowing the function of cells. 
  2. Some signs that you're not getting enough iron are D. All of the above, which makes sense if your cells are not able to produce energy, you would certainly experience weakness and fatigue. The sensation of cold, especially in hands and feet, often results from not enough hemoglobin to reach these extremities.
  3. There are B. Two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron simply means when it is ingested, it's already in the form needed to create/complete hemoglobin and is much easier to absorb and use than non-heme. Heme is found in animals and non-heme is found in plants. 
  4. Depending on your age and gender, most people need between A. 8-18mg of iron per day. Here are the current recommendations (as per the NIH):

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Iron 
Birth to 6 months0.27 mg*0.27 mg*
7–12 months11 mg11 mg
1–3 years7 mg7 mg
4–8 years10 mg10 mg
9–13 years8 mg8 mg
14–18 years11 mg15 mg27 mg10 mg
19–50 years8 mg18 mg27 mg9 mg
51+ years8 mg8 mg
  1. The vitamin that aids the absorption of iron is C. Vitamin C, particularly with plant-based iron sources.
  2. Iron can be found in D. All of the above. It's important to get a variety of iron sources to ensure your body will have what it needs when it needs it to be available. To give you an idea of how much iron certain foods contain, here is part of the chart developed by the NIH that shows some of the top iron-rich foods:
Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Iron
per serving
Percent DV*
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for iron, 1 serving18100
Oysters, eastern, cooked with moist heat, 3 ounces844
White beans, canned, 1 cup844
Chocolate, dark, 45%–69% cacao solids, 3 ounces739
Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces528
Lentils, boiled and drained, ½ cup317
Spinach, boiled and drained, ½ cup317
Tofu, firm, ½ cup317
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup211
Sardines, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone, 3 ounces211
Chickpeas, boiled and drained, ½ cup211
Tomatoes, canned, stewed, ½ cup211
Beef, braised bottom round, trimmed to 1/8" fat, 3 ounces211
Potato, baked, flesh and skin, 1 medium potato211
Cashew nuts, oil roasted, 1 ounce (18 nuts)211

For a completely customized nutrition plan that helps you reach your daily iron needs (and considers your likes, dislikes, intolerances, allergies, medications, and more), contact your local TNT Health Educator today!

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